There’s one more home games series for the Rome Braves – let’s support ‘em!

After every season, I hear “Oh, I forgot the minors have a shorter season than the majors.” The last chances are coming Sept. 14-19 as we play the Hickory Crawdads, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. General Manager David Cross and the team welcome all of us to the excitement as minor league professional baseball continues to be a “hit” in Rome.

We have one more chance to see the next Francoeur, the next McCann, Freeman, Minor, Albies, Acuna, Riley and more who played here in the minors before they go to the show.

This season has shown some good action on the State Mutual Stadium field with budding superstar Michael Harris and others. New players have been sent to the next higher levels and newly promoted here to High A East League – most recently, Dylan Dodd, Vaughn Grissom and Javier Valdes.

We watched last week as Grissom’s first game here resulted in a run, two walks and a stolen base.

Going to a Rome Braves game is another chance to be safely outdoors with friends and other Romans; to hear the national anthem while all remove caps and hold them across hearts; to watch the video board of fans having fun or the goofy games. I’m sure WLAQ’s Randy Davis, the excellent volunteer chair for the community’s successful recruitment, remembers “Dinner Theater for Families,” as Atlanta Braves’ Bob Wolfe described the experience when the Rome Floyd Unified Leadership Team was recruiting them.

By the way, be sure to welcome folks you don’t know. As you walk to and from the parking lot you’ll see numerous out of town license plates. At a recent game I noticed Cherokee, Carroll, Cobb, Polk, and Gordon counties, along with Bibb and even a Wisconsin tag. You never know – they might be your next new neighbors or maybe a business person looking to expand …

Going to a baseball game is outdoors and there are seats away from others. There are a variety of options in addition to the regular stadium so that everyone can be socially distanced.

Come on out and see them PLAY BALL!

Al Hodge is the former Rome Floyd Chamber president and CEO. He retired after more than 40 years of leading community and economic development initiatives in Rome, Augusta and Charleston, SC. He launched Hodge Consulting Services in May 2019.

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